Westchester Symphonic Winds Begins New Year with “Monuments”

TARRYTOWN, NY – Westchester Symphonic Winds (WSW) presents the second performance of their 36th season with “Monuments” on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 2:00 pm at the Tarrytown Music Hall. The program includes works spanning the scope of repertoire from original compositions for wind ensemble to selections from opera and musical theater by many of the most monumental composers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Cast originally as our Jean Valjean for the 2019 festival highlights from Les Misérables, guest soloist John Anthony López returns to sing two iconic selections for tenor: “Bring Him Home,” from Les Misérables, and “Nessun Dorma,” from Turandot.

Leading the ensemble as guests on the podium for this second concert of the 36th season are Michelle Rofrano and Aaron Staluppi. Ms. Rofrano is an active conductor of both opera and orchestral repertoire, with recent performances worldwide. Mr. Staluppi has performed with WSW on several occasions as a collaborative tubist, and takes the podium for the first time as part of our apprentice educational outreach program. 

Commenting on the significance of the concert program title, Maestro Ebersole shared, “We named this concert ‘Monuments’ because of the towering, epic repertoire and composers the program represents. With Verdi, Puccini, and Bernstein represented on this program, it will be truly memorable.”

Program includes:
VERDI – Overture to Nabucco
OQUIN – Tower Ascending
SCHÖNBERG – Bring Him Home, from Les Misérables
PUCCINI – Nessun Dorma, from Turandot
WILLIAMS – Symphonic Dance, No. 2, “The Maskers”
BERNSTEIN – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

To Purchase Tickets: Tickets for this performance are priced at $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and free of charge for children under 10. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Tarrytown Music Hall box office, by calling 877-840-0457, or online at the Music Hall Box Office


About the Guest Artists:

John Anthony López is a graduate of the Crane School of Music, where he studied voice with 

Ms. Patricia Misslin. Credits include Jean Valjean (Les Misérables), Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), Old Deuteronomy (CATS), Fagin (Oliver!), Dan (Next to Normal), The Man in the Yellow Suit (Tuck Everlasting), King Arthur (Spamalot), Gomez (Addams Family), Grandpa Who (Old Max/US) in the national tour of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Broadway concert appearances in Chess (Actor’s Fund), Something Wonderful, Camelot and Oliver! (Irish Repertory).  Acting credits include Pharoah (Aida), The Constable (Much Ado About Nothing), The Captain (Mr. Rogers), Saunders (Lend Me a Tenor) and Ben (The Sunshine Boys).  Additional reels and photos available at https://www.johnanthonylopez.com/.

Michelle Rofrano is an Italian-American conductor deeply interested in the intersection of art, storytelling, and social activism. An avid opera conductor, she has led productions at City Lyric Opera, The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, Orpheus PDX, Opera Saratoga, The Glimmerglass Festival, and the Westminster Choir College and served as a cover conductor for notable works with San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florida Grand Opera, the Spoleto Festival USA, and Opera Birmingham. While Rofrano has a particular passion for Italian opera, she also enjoys exploring contemporary and innovative projects. In 2022, she conducted the meditative opera Song of the Ambassadors (Skye/Allado-McDowell) at Alice Tully Hall, a groundbreaking opera in development that interweaves music, science, and technology. The following year, she led a recording project as Music Director for the first opera designed for 3D Spatial Audio, No One Is Forgotten: An Immersive Opera. Rofrano is the founder and Artistic Director of PROTESTRA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness about various social justice issues through the lens of classical music, and she is the co-creator of Girls Who Conduct, an initiative that mentors young women and non-binary musicians in an effort to achieve gender parity on the conducting podium. Rofrano completed graduate conducting studies at the Peabody Conservatory and counts Marin Alsop, Joseph Colaneri, Gustav Meier, and Markand Thakar among her mentors.

Aaron Staluppi serves as the Director of Elementary Instrumental Music for the Westfield Public School District in New Jersey where he teaches 4th and 5th grade elementary band. In addition to his duties at the elementary level, he also serves as the assistant director of the Westfield High School Blue Devil Marching Band. Prior to joining the music staff in Westfield, Mr. Staluppi taught collegiate, high school, and elementary music programs in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. He is an active freelance musician, a private lesson teacher, and is heavily involved in the marching arts as an instructor, designer, consultant, and music arranger. During the summer, Mr. Staluppi consults with various drum and bugle corps in the area, and enjoys a rigorous travel schedule as he teaches young leaders from across the country with the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. As a performer, Mr. Staluppi has performed with the Albany Symphony, Albany Pro Musica, the New England Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Westchester Symphonic Winds as a substitute member of the tuba section since 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and Master of Music degree in Tuba Performance with an emphasis in conducting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

About the Conductor:

Curt Ebersole has served as the Conductor/Music Director (John P. Paynter Memorial Chair) of the Westchester Symphonic Winds since 2008, fostering its exponential growth over the past sixteen years, culminating in The American Prize for 2018-2019. He retired from Northern Valley Regional High School (Old Tappan, New Jersey) in 2013 after serving as Director of Instrumental Music for 31 years, and now teaches at The Masters School, in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music in Conducting degree from Northwestern University, where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter and clarinet with Larry Combs, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Clarinet Performance from SUNY-Purchase, studying with Ben Armato. He has served as guest conductor/clinician for many county, regional, and all-state student ensembles, and adult community ensembles across the nation, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Symphony Space, and in Las Vegas, South Korea and Australia. His achievements include multiple teaching awards, ensemble performances as a clarinetist and basset hornist, and speaking/clinic engagements with the Midwest Clinic, TEDxOneonta, and numerous state music education conventions and conducting symposia. 

About the Westchester Symphonic Winds:

Membership in the Westchester Symphonic Winds is available to all qualified musicians. Membership information can be obtained by contacting us via email at personnel@westchestersymphonicwinds.org or by U.S. mail (Westchester Symphonic Winds, Box 485, 333 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605). You can also visit us online at: www.westchestersymphonicwinds.org and through any of our social media platforms.

Westchester Symphonic Winds, Inc. is a Section 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization. Corporate and personal contributions, financial assistance, and volunteers are essential and always welcomed! For additional concert and ticket information, advertising, donations, and updates, visit us at: www.westchestersymphonicwinds.org.

About Westchester Symphonic Winds

The Westchester Symphonic Winds is an adult community-based wind and percussion ensemble, proud to celebrate our 33rd season. We exist to promote music in our area, instill pride in our nation and heritage, provide opportunities for personal expression and growth within our membership, and nurture the love of music by offering an exceptional musical experience for people of all ages. We perform the finest of wind band literature ranging from the classics to the latest 21st century wind band composers. The Westchester Symphonic Winds is ensemble-in-residence at Tarrytown Music Hall and performs annually at Carammor. Auditions are heard annually in September, and our concert season runs from September through July.

Almost thirty years ago, two New Rochelle High School graduates, Rachel Eckhaus and Robert LaPorta, realized how much they missed the musical and social experience of playing in a concert band. They also discovered that there were virtually no local community bands, so they persuaded their former band director, James D. Wayne, to work with them to form a new organization in Westchester, which they named the Hudson Valley Wind Symphony. From its humble beginning of 30 members, the group has grown to 65 wind and percussion players, has found a permanent home at the Tarrytown Music Hall, and has changed its name to the Westchester Symphonic Winds, to better reflect that its members are drawn from all over Westchester and the tri-state metropolitan area. WSW has profited from the leadership of its conductors. James D. Wayne conducted the band from 1988-2004. Dr. Luis Fernando Jimenez was conductor from 2005-2008. Curt Ebersole was invited to conduct the 20th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2008, and was subsequently invited to stay on permanently as Conductor/Music Director. Since 2008, guest conductors and clinicians have included the finest wind band conductors from Westchester and across the nation. Like many avocational groups, WSW members represent many backgrounds and vocations, but the common thread is the love of the concert band experience. Since many people have never heard a serious concert band, one of the aims of the group is to expose music lovers to this wonderful, vast repertoire. The Westchester Symphonic Winds is an adult community-based wind and percussion ensemble, and proud to celebrate its 29th season. We exist to promote music in our area, instill pride in our nation and heritage, provide opportunities for personal expression and growth within our membership, and nurture the love of music by offering an exceptional musical experience for people of all ages. Over the years, we have given concerts on behalf of many service and benefit organizations. Our educational outreach program has included a Side-by-Side Concert with the Mahopac Central School District. Our Exchange Program with the Northshore Concert Band of Evanston, Illinois, provided opportuities to perform at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall at Northwestern University and the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut. We made our Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall in 2010, performed at the Association of Concert Bands National Convention in 2012, the New York State Band Directors Winter Symposium in 2017, and have performed to sold-out crowds at the Caramoor Festival annually since 2014. The ensemble has been the subject of articles in The New York Times and Teaching Music, the magazine of the National Association for Music Education. The organization is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York, and rehearses there on Monday evenings from September through May. Visit us at www.westchestersymphonicwinds.org for more information and personnel opportunities. We also maintain a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@WSWinds). Westchester Symphonic Winds, Inc. is a Section 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization. Contributions, financial assistance, principal chair underwriting, and volunteers are essential to our success, and always welcomed.